Anthony Burgess gives Finsbury Park writer inspiration to pursue dreams
It’s shaping up be a life-changing year for Finsbury Park writer Jeremy Cox with the release of his debut novel.
Despite a long career in publishing working with esteemed authors including Kingsley Amis and Anthony Burgess, the 66-year-old, of Hangley Road has only just penned his first book – The Burial Chamber.
It was the late writer Burgess who gave Jeremy the inspiration to pursue his dream of writing his first novel.
He said: “I became good friends with Anthony and it was him who actually inspired me to finally try and get my work published.
“Although it never was, it put me in good stead for this novel.”
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The result is a historical thriller set in the dark underworld of 19th century London, exploring the mysteries of Egypt and early advances in science, mesmerism and the treatment of the mentally ill.
Jeremy said: “I have always been in love with the early 19th century and the idea of basing a book around that with the background in foggy London was very appealing.”
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The book follows young surgeon Robert Mountford who attends a demonstration on mesmerism in the hope of easing his patients’ suffering.
It is there that he becomes involved with a man-about-town and hedonist, haunted by a story of ancient Egyptian reincarnation involving his father who mysteriously disappeared when he was five.
It draws Mountford into London’s dark underworld where he becomes embroiled in a clandestine undertaking involving ancient Egyptian magic and human sacrifice.
Jeremy continued: “As the protagonist in the novel finds out, the ‘madhouses’ used to treat mental illnesses and treatments at the time were barbaric including the use of the spinning chair, which involved spinning the patient round at 100 revolutions a minute with the intention to put their brains back in order.”
Jeremy, who worked for many years as marketing director at publishing house Hutchinson, is at work on another novel set in the American catskills of the 1960s.
n The Burial Chamber, published by London based publishers Stroud Green Books, now available at all good bookshops as well as Amazon and Kindle.